Environment: Making it better wherever you are
No More Urban Food Deserts
Have you ever walked through an urban food desert? Like walking through the Sahara looking for fresh water, an urban food desert is just as challenging if you’re looking for fresh food. Thankfully, that’s all changing. Urban farmers are cropping up (sorry about the pun) and producing fresh healthy food for their inner city neighbors. Will Allen is one such farmer who has taken the concept of urban farming to a higher level of community development. Here’s a little of his story:
In 1993, Growing Power was an organization with teens who needed a place to work.
Will Allen was a farmer with land.
Will designed a program that offered teens an opportunity to work at his store and renovate the greenhouses to grow food for their community. What started as a simple partnership to change the landscape of the north side of Milwaukee has blossomed into a national and global commitment to sustainable food systems. Since its inception, Growing Power has served as a ”living museum” or “idea factory” for the young, the elderly, farmers, producers, and other professionals ranging from USDA personnel to urban planners. Training areas include the following: acid-digestion, anaerobic digestion for food waste, bio-phyto remediation and soil health, aquaculture closed-loop systems, vermiculture, small and large scale composting, urban agriculture, permaculture, food distribution, marketing, value-added product development, youth education, community engagement, participatory leadership development, and project planning.
At Growing Power and in community food projects across the nation and around the world, Will promotes the belief that all people, regardless of their economic circumstances, should have access to fresh, safe, affordable and nutritious foods at all times. Using methods he has developed over a lifetime, Will trains community members to become community farmers, assuring them a secure source of good food without regard to political or economic forces. In 2008, Will was named a John D. and Katherine T. McArthur Foundation Fellow and was awarded a prestigious foundation “genius grant” for his work – only the second farmer ever to be so honored. He is also a member of the Clinton Global Initiative, and in February 2010, he was invited to the White House to join First Lady Michelle Obama in launching “Let’s Move!” her signature leadership program to reverse the epidemic of childhood obesity in America. In May 2010, Time magazine named Will to the Time 100 World’s Most Influential People.
If you’re in the Milwaukee area in November, you can attend the 2014 Urban & Small Farms Conference: "Building a Fair Food Economy to Grow Healthy People." Highlighted feature:
"A Conversation with Michael Pollan and Will Allen"
November 7th, at Potawatomi Bingo Casino Hotel
Michael Pollan is a 4-time New York Times Bestselling author, James Beard Award winner for best food writing, a 2009 Newsweek "New Thought Leader" and one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in 2010. Will Allen is our Farmer, Founder and CEO, a "Genius Grant" winner from the MacArthur Foundation, and was also named one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in 2010. They will be on stage for a very special night, the event will be moderated by Jean Feraca of Wisconsin Public Radio.
To learn more about Growing Power, click here
To host a Growing Power Workshop in your city, click here
To find out how you can help Growing Power grow, click here